Temperature and Insect Development
The temperature dependence of insect development has been frequently investigated. Temperature affects both the time of development as well as fecundity; consequently, the appearance and dynamics of insect populations in the field are dictated by ambient temperature. For this reason there has been considerable interest for a long time in the temperature relationships of development time and fecundity mainly of filthy, annoying, and disease-transmitting insects in order to apply it in predicting the outbreak-time and the dynamics of pests. To do this, some empirical “rules” or “laws” about the temperature relation of developmental time have been derived which are employed with some success in pest control (Sec. 4). Although derived empirically with respect only to the time of development (this is only one variable from many others), these rules have greatly influenced the current concepts of temperature action and have been adopted by textbooks of environmental physiology and ecology. It has been suggested that the developmental process has the characteristic of a complex chemical reaction, the velocity of which is determined by the temperature dependence of the slowest step (“master reaction”, “rate determining process”) (p. 9 in Chap. 1).
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